Movies of the week: Nightcrawler and Whiplash

This weekend, two movies with serious critical acclaim and awards buzz hovering over them are the subject of my own critical attention. One stars Jake Gyllenhaal in what promises to be his best acting performance to date. In the directorial debut of Dan Gilroy, Gyllenhaal plays a petty thief named Lou Bloom, who is inspired to enter the seedy business of crime-scene photography in the Los Angeles area under the belief that this is ideal for him as a career, but his ambition to excel could come at a dangerous price. This week in theaters, Nightcrawler arrives.

What am I expecting to see?: In the next coming weeks, I’m anticipating to see a lot of leading male actor performances in the running for the Best Actor Oscar, but when it comes to Jake Gyllenhaal, I expect to see the potential front-runner to win the Best Actor categories in every awards circuit. Nightcrawler is the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy and he is poised himself perfectly to begin his career as a director with a bang in this dark and pulse-racing thriller driven by an exemplary performance from Gyllenhaal accompanied with decent supporting performances from Rene Russo, Bill Paxton and Riz Ahmed. This movie could be a game-changer and I hope it lives up to the hype.

Miles Teller, plays Andrew, an aspiring drummer who enrolls in a prestigious music academy in order to achieve his dream of attaining fame. Andrew then catches the eye of Fletcher, played by J.K. Simmons, an instructor who goes to extreme lengths in order to achieve a student’s potential. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, Whiplash is a tale about a student who aims for greatness while his instructor goes to great lengths to challenge him.

What am I expected to see?: Quite simply, I’m hearing nothing but good things regarding this film. In fact, a classmate told me that this movie was the only film in the New York Film Festival to receive a standing ovation and the buzz has been nothing but positive. I’m hearing that the tandem of Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons is dynamite on screen and Damien Chazelle is garnering all kinds of acclaim for his film has been cleaning up at the Festival Circuits. I expect Whiplash to be the Oscar contender for Best Picture, I believe it can be.

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